State Investigated After Florida School Shooting Suspect Cut Himself
PARKLAND, Fla. (CBSNews) — Florida’s child welfare agency investigated the suspect in a The Miami Herald obtained records from Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) and reported Saturday (Feb. 17) that posted a video on Snapchat showing him cutting his arms in 2016.after he cut himself in a video but found him stable, according to state records.
The agency was called to investigate. Cruz, then 18, was listed as an “alleged victim” of medical neglect and inadequate supervision; his adoptive mother, then-68-year-old Lynda Cruz, the “alleged perpetrator.”
“Mr. Cruz was on Snapchat cutting both of his arms,” the abuse hotline was told in August 2016. “Mr. Cruz has fresh cuts on both his arms. Mr. Cruz stated he plans to go out and buy a gun.”
According to the paper, DCF’s investigation was completed that Nov. 12. The agency concluded that Cruz had not been mistreated by his mother, was receiving adequate care from a mental health counselor and was attending school.
“Henderson came out and assessed the (victim and) found him to be stable enough not to be hospitalized,” the DCF report said.
Cruz had been diagnosed with autism, a neurological disorder that often leads to social awkwardness and isolation, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.
The documents provide further evidence that Cruz was a troubled teen before being charged with 17 counts of murder in the Wednesday attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Michael Alessandri, a clinical professor of psychology at University of Miami, said Cruz’s diagnosis of autism should not be viewed as one of the causes of the attack.
“It is a terrible, terrible tragedy,” Alessandri told The Miami Herald. “I can assure you that autism is not what pulled the trigger for this young man… This is unquestionably an issue of mental illness. Autism is not that. It is a social communication disorder, not a violent disorder.”
On Friday, President Trump visited Broward Health North Hospital, where he saw two victims and praised the doctors and nurses for their “incredible” job. With first lady Melania Trump, he also paid his respects to law enforcement officials in Fort Lauderdale, telling officers he hoped they were “getting the credit” they deserved.
Asked if he’d talked with victims, Mr. Trump added: “I did, indeed, and it’s very sad something like that could happen.”
Mr. Trump is spending the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, about 40 miles from the shooting scene.
In the days following the attack, students who were caught in the crossfire at the school took politicians to task in the media and online.
“Politicians and more importantly the American public must take action if we’re going to prevent the next shooting,” said survivor David Hogg, who wrote an essay for “CBS This Morning.” “To elected officials I say this: Don’t lie to us. Don’t make any more false promises, because when you do, children die.”
One student asked President Trump to meet with her. Some teens have been critical of Mr. Trump for failing to mention guns in his comments about the attack.